A lauriat welcome

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Saturday, February 2, 2013


THOUGH Radisson Blu has always had Chinese cuisine among its buffet offerings at Café Feria, it is only now that it offers a Chinese lauriat for its dining patrons. The hotel waited until it had three Chinese chefs in its kitchens so it could offer only the best of Chinese cuisine for its lauriat offering.

Taking over-all care of the Chinese kitchen is Yeung Siu Man, more familiarly known as chef Peter. He was born in Hong Kong and has spent 24 of his 45 years specializing in Chinese cuisine. With him is Zeng Zi Liang or chef Eric, who was born in China on Christmas Day, 1976. His specialty is dimsum. To complete the team for the Chinese kitchen is Li Baojiang or chef Li, who was born in Henan, China. His specialty is noodles. With these chefs in the Feria kitchens, the hotel knows it can now offer the best kinds of lauriat at Café Feria.

A lauriat is what the Chinese Filipinos enjoy on special occasions. It comes from the Fookien dialect word lao-diat, which means special occasions and generally refers to banquets served at weddings, birthdays, and other celebratory occasions. The feast usually lasts two to three hours with at least ten different dishes, including dessert, in the menu.

Chef Eric makes both savory dimsum, as appetizer, or sweet dimsum, as dessert. To be a good dimsum chef, Eric says one must have a high level of attention to details and a small hand. Though dimsum is not traditionally part of the lauriat, it can sometimes be seen as part of the dessert menu.

Noodles, which to the Chinese signifies long life, is the specialty of la mien chef, chef Li. He is in charge of making the hand-pulled noodles that may be used in the menu. He is, as well, an expert in making delectable broth for the soups. To be a la mien chef requires a high level of skill that can be learned only through years of apprenticeship. Ideally, to be a la mien chef, one has to have long fingers and limbs.

The hotel offers seven types of lauriat ably concocted by chef Peter: Pearl, Bronze, Silver, Jade, Gold, Diamond and Dragon lauriats. A sample of one of the menus, that of the gold lauriat, has the following: for appetizers – “Yin and Yang Prawn Salad” combination and “Roast Peking Duck” served with “Whole Wheat Pancake.” Soup is “Chicken Soup with Fish Maw and Bamboo Fungus” (this one is a real treat). The six main courses are: “Stuffed Scallops with Asparagus in Peking Sauce,” “Steamed Grouper with Soya Bean Sauce,” “Braised Abalone and Sea Cucumber in Abalone Sauce,” “Deep Fried Chicken Taro with Honey Plum Sauce,” “Stir-Fried Minced Duck in Lettuce Cups,” and “Stir-fried Handmade Noodles with Crab Meat and Oyster Mushrooms.”

All are very good and very filling, which sometimes make you forget that there is dessert to look forward to. If you eat at a lauriat, you have to pace yourself so you will have room for dessert which, in this case, are “Crystal Dumpling with Milk Cream” and “Double-Boiled White Fungus with Papaya with Aloe Vera Jelly.”

The Radisson lauriat menu serves only specialty dishes and is available for a minimum party of 10. Chef Peter says reservations must be made 48 hours before you wish to have a the meal because even if the lauriat can be done in Café Feria, the dishes are not available in its buffet.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 02, 2013.

Lifestyle

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